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RTE Archives. (1972) Scourge of drug addiction.

External website: http://www.rte.ie/archives/2017/0925/907320-heroin...

Young people give their experiences of heroin addiction, and how they were affected by the drug.


One young man describes one of the debilitating aspects of heroin use: 

It’s just crazy to see guys really, ’cause it really sickens you, it kills you really...All of a sudden you know, some days you can’t walk, because all your veins in your legs get thrombosed, real big lumps, rock hard, you know, and really it’s horrible, you know...I remember one time I usen’t to be able to walk, I usen’t be able to do anything at one time, you know, just sick, sick, sick.


While acknowledging that heroin use has many bad points, another young man claims to have had a different experience of the drug: 

Some people will be better people after using heroin, and I’ve seen a lot of people, when they’ve come off it, they’re just wrecked completely, they’re just a shadow of what they were on it, and they really would be better people by using it all the time.


Doctor Michael Kelly, who is based in Jervis Street Hospital, has a lot of experience with dealing with drug addicts. Heroin users are most at risk from dying by overdose, either from heroin or using a mix of prescribed medication. He is blunt about the consequences of heroin addiction: 

Heroin takers die young; I think they all recognise that...they die in their twenties.


This episode of ‘Seven Days’ was broadcast on 29 September 1972.  ‘Seven Days’ began broadcasting on 26 September 1966 and was RTE television’s flagship current affairs programme for ten years.

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